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El Niño and health

Description: El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) is a climate event that originates in the Pacific Ocean but has wide-ranging consequences for weather around the world, and is especially associated with droughts and floods. The irregular occurrence of El Niño and La Niña events has implications for public health. On a global scale, the human effect of natural disasters increases during El Niño. The effect of ENSO on cholera risk in Bangladesh, and malaria epidemics in parts of South Asia and South America has been well established. The strongest evidence for an association between ENSO and disease is provided by time-series analysis with data series that include more than one event. Evidence for ENSO's effect on other mosquito-borne and rodent-borne diseases is weaker than that for malaria and cholera. Health planners are used to dealing with spatial risk concepts but have little experience with temporal risk management. ENSO and seasonal climate forecasts might offer the opportunity to target scarce resources for epidemic control and disaster preparedness.
Date: 1999
Creator: Kovats, R Sari; Bouma, Menno J & Haines, Andy

Florida's Global Warming Solutions: A Study for: World Wildlife Fund

Description: This report assesses how the set of national actions presented in America’s Global Warming Solutions would affect Florida’s energy systems, carbon emissions and economy. This study finds that by 2010, the set of national actions to reduce global warming would decrease Florida’s primary energy use by 26 percent and its carbon emissions by 36 percent. They would also provide increasing annual savings reaching about $300 per-capita in 2010 and averaging about $110 per-capita per year between now and 2010. Thus, the State would cumulatively save about $17 billion over that period. The set of national actions would also create approximately 39,000 net additional jobs in Florida by 2010. They would reduce emissions of other pollutants and begin to shift the basis of the State’s economy towards more advanced, energy-efficient technologies and cleaner resources. The table below summarizes these results.
Date: November 1999
Creator: Bernow, Stephen; Cory, Karlynn; Dougherty, William; Kartha, Sivan; Duckworth, Max; Ruth, Michael et al.

Near-term Health Benefits of Greenhouse Gas Reductions: A Proposed Assessment Method and Application in Two Energy Sectors of China

Description: This is a study of projected near-term health benefits associated with greenhouse (GHG) reductions resulting from changes in energy efficiency and structure of energy use in the power and household sectors of China. The work was commissioned by the former Office of Global and Integrated Environmental Health at WHO, in order to explore the scope for modelling in the assessment of such short-term health benefits. China was selected as an appropiate case study for this work, as it fulfilled most of the criteria required, including the fact that it is a large country, with data sets available on air pollution and health, and with information on projected trends in the consumption of fossil fuels
Date: March 1999
Creator: Wang, Xiaodong & Smith, Kirk R.

Environmental Effects of Ozone Depletion: 1994 Assessment

Description: A change in the composition of the stratosphere becomes relevant to society only if it has noticeable effects. This places the assessment of effects in a pivotal role in the problem of ozone depletion. Decreases in the quantity of total-column ozone, as now observed in many places, tend to cause increased penetration of solar UV-B radiation (290-315 nm) to the Earth's surface. UV-B radiation is the most energetic component of sunlight reaching the surface. It has profound effects on human health, animals, plants, microorganisms, materials and on air quality. Thus any perturbation which leads to an increase in UV-B radiation demands careful consideration of the possible consequences. This is the topic of the present assessment made by the Panel on Environmental Effects of Ozone Depletion.
Date: November 1994
Creator: United Nations Environment Programme

Turning Up the Heat: How Global Warming Threatens Life in the Sea

Description: This new report argues that rising temperatures have impacted the world's oceans to a far greater extent than previously acknowledged. Addressing topics such as sea-level rise, ocean circulation, coral reefs, sea birds and invertebrates, as well as the increasing threats to Salmon, the report predicts a dangerous chain reaction in marine ecosystems if global warming continues unabated. On the positive side, it also argues that decisive actions now to reduce pollution can slow the warming and preserve the world's oceans.
Date: February 1999
Creator: Berntson, Ewann A.

Our Changing Planet: The FY 1995 U.S. Global Change Research Program

Description: The U.S. GLOBAL CHANGE RESEARCH PROGRAM (USGCRP) supports activities that provide information and policy-relevant understanding about the coupling of human activities and the environment across a broad range of issues, perspectives, and interactions. Global change research focuses on providing scientific insight into critical global change issues and policy choices facing the nation and the world community. Global change research to address these issues is organized into a flexible multidisciplinary framework for coordinating science activities. Each global change issue is addressed through a process which strives to document, understand, predict, and assess the science in a way that yields results that are relevant to the needs of decision makers. The USGCRP is founded on the premise that international cooperation and coordination is fundamental to addressing global environmental issues. USGCRP programs significantly contribute to worldwide global change research efforts
Date: 1994
Creator: U.S. Global Change Research Information Office

1999 - 2000 Legislature: 1999 Senate Bill 287

Description: An Act making an appropriation for the state land disposal bank program; making an appropriation from the constitutional budget reserve fund under art. IX, sec. 17(c), Constitution of the State of Alaska; and providing for an effective date.
Date: November 1999
Creator: Senators Burke; Senators Cowles; Senators Clausing; Senators Rosenzweig; Senators Darling & Senators Roessler

WMO Statement on the Status of the Global Climate in 1995

Description: There is continuing international concern about global warming and its potential to cause serious disruption to vulnerable social and economic sectors of society as well as to sustainable development efforts. As recently as December 1995, scientists of the World Meteorological Organization/United Nations Environment Programme (WMO/UNEP) Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change stated that "the balance of evidence suggests a discernible human influence on global climate", through emissions of greenhouse gases. At the same time, there is a developing capability within national Meteorological and Hydrological Services (NMHSs) to provide comprehensive information on past, present, and future (seasons to a year ahead) climate and its variations, to a wide spectrum of users. The rapid development of global communications systems means that such information can be provided on a timely basis and is, therefore, of great use to national decision makers.
Date: 1995
Creator: World Meteorological Organization

IPCC Special Report Aviation and the Global Atmosphere: Summary for Policymakers

Description: The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) was jointly established by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) in 1988 to: (i) assess available information on the science, the impacts, and the economics of, and the options for mitigating and/or adapting to, climate change and (ii) provide, on request, scientific/technical/socio-economic advice to the Conference of the Parties (COP) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). Since then the IPCC has produced a series of Assessment Reports, Special Reports, Technical Papers, methodologies, and other products that have become standard works of reference, widely used by policymakers, scientists, and other experts. This Special Report was prepared following a request from the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and the Parties to the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer. The state of understanding of the relevant science of the atmosphere, aviation technology, and socio-economic issues associated with mitigation options is assessed and reported for both subsonic and supersonic fleets. The potential effects that aviation has had in the past and may have in the future on both stratospheric ozone depletion and global climate change are covered; environmental impacts of aviation at the local scale, however, are not addressed. The report synthesizes the findings to identify and characterize options for mitigating future impacts.
Date: 1999
Creator: Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Working Groups I and III

The Regional Impacts of Climate Change: An Assessment of Vulnerability

Description: The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) was jointly established by the World Meteorological Organization and the United Nations Environment Programme in 1988 to assess the scientific and technical literature on climate change, the potential impacts of changes in climate, and options for adaption to and mitigation of climate change. Since its inception, the IPCC has produced a series of Assessment Reports, Special Reports, Technical Papers, methodologies and other products which have become standard works of reference, widely used by policymakers, scientists and other experts. This Special Report, which has been produced by Working Group II of the IPCC, builds on the Working Group's contribution to the Second Assessment Report (SAR), and incorporates more recent information made available since mid-1995. It has been prepared in response to a request from the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA) of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). It addresses an important question posed by the Conference of the Parties (COP) to the UNFCCC, namely, the degree to which human conditions and the natural environment are vulnerable to the potential effects of climate change. The report establishes a common base of information regarding the potential costs and benefits of climatic change, including the evaluation of uncertainties, to help the COP determine what adaptation and mitigation measures might be justified. The report consists of vulnerability assessments for 10 regions that comprise the Earth's entire land surface and adjoining coastal seas: Africa, Arid Western Asia (including the Middle East), Australasia, Europe, Latin America, North America, the Polar Regions (The Arctic and the Antarctic), Small Island States, Temperate Asia and Tropical Asia. It also includes several annexes that provide information about climate observations, climate projections, vegetation distribution projections and socioeconomic trends.
Date: November 1997
Creator: Watson, Robert T.; Zinyowera, Marufu C.; Moss, Richard H. & Dokken, David J.

Global Ocean Ecosystem Dynamics (GLOBEC) Science Plan

Description: Human population and associated industrial activities continue to increase rapidly, and have reached levels that put the environment under stress in many areas of the world. In addition natural fluctuations of the Earth's physical and biological systems, often occur in time frames that are not readily evident to man. Such fluctuations cause additional stress on the environment, and can result in changes that impact society in terms of diminished availability of clean water, unspoiled land and natural vegetation, minerals, fish stocks, and clean air. Human societies are making a rapidly increasing number of policy and management decisions that attempt to allow both for natural fluctuations and to limit or modify human impact. Such decisions are often ineffective, as a result of economic, political and social constraints, and inadequate understanding of the interactions between human activities and natural responses. Improved understanding of such issues is important in its own right, and will contribute to ameliorating economic, political and social constraints. Developing improved understanding of environmental change is within the realm of the natural sciences and is being addressed by the International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme (IGBP) and other programmes concerned with describing and understanding the Earth System. Natural variability, occurring over a variety of time scales, dominates the health of complex marine ecosystems, regardless of fishing or other environmental pressure. We are only now beginning to compile quantitative documentation of such variability, and consequently our knowledge concerning its causes remains at the level of hypotheses. Understanding of the role of variability in the functioning of marine ecosystems is essential if we are to effectively manage global marine living resources such as fisheries during this period of tremendously increased human impact, and concurrent dependence, on these resources.
Date: 1997
Creator: Global Ocean Ecosystem Dynamics (GLOBEC)

The Miombo Network: Framework for a Terrestrial Transect Study of Land-Use and Land-Cover Change in the Miombo Ecosystems of Central Africa

Description: This report describes the strategy for the Miombo Network Initiative, developed at an International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme (IGBP) intercore-project workshop in Malawi in December 1995 and further refined during the Land Use and Cover Change (LUCC) Open Science Meeting in January, 1996 and through consultation and review by the LUCC Scientific Steering Committee (SSC). The Miombo Network comprises of an international network of researchers working in concert on a 'community' research agenda developed to address the critical global change research questions for the miombo woodland ecosystems. The network also addresses capacity building and training needs in the Central, Eastern and Southern Africa (SAF) region, of the Global Change System for Analysis Research and Training (START). The research strategy described here provides the basis for a proposed IGBP Terrestrial Transect study of land cover and land use changes in the miombo ecosystems of Central Africa. It therefore resides administratively within the LUCC programme with linkages to other Programme Elements of the IGBP such as Global Change and Terrestrial Ecosystems (GCTE). The report provides the framework for research activities aimed at understanding how land use is affecting land cover and associated ecosystem processes; assessing what contribution these changes are making to global change; and predicting what effects global change in turn could have on land use dynamics and ecosystem structure and function. The key issues identified are: patterns, causes and rates of change in land cover in relation to land use; consequences of land-use and land-cover changes on regional climate, natural resources, hydrology, carbon storage and trace gas emissions; determinants of the distribution of species and ecosystems in miombo; and fundamental questions of miombo ecosystem structure and function.
Date: 1997
Creator: Desanker, Paul V.; Frost, Peter G. H.; Justice, Christopher O. & Scholes, Robert J.

The Kalahari Transect: Research on Global Change and Sustainable Development in Southern Africa

Description: The Kalahari Transect is proposed as one of IGBPs Transects (see Koch et al. 1995 [IGBP Report 36]). It is located so as to span the gradient between the arid subtropics and the moist tropics in southern Africa, a zone potentially susceptible to changes in the global precipitation pattern. Its focus is the relationships between the structure and function of ecosystems and their large-scale biophysical and human drivers (climate, atmosphere and land use). The Kalahari Transect spans a strong climatic gradient in southern Africa, from the arid south to the humid north, while remaining on a single broad soil type, the deep sands of the Kalahari basin. The vegetation ranges over the length of the transect from shrubland through savannas and woodlands to closed evergreen tropical forest, with land uses ranging from migratory wildlife systems, through pastoralism, subsistence cropping to forestry. The objectives of the Kalahari Transect activity are to: build an active network of regional and international researchers around the issue of ecosystem structure and function in savanna woodlands undergoing climatic and land use change; quantify the current and future role of southern African savanna woodlands in the global carbon, water and trace gas budgets and the degree of dependence of these budgets on climate and land use change; develop a predictive understanding of future changes in southern African savannas and woodlands on sandy soils, including their capacity to deliver forage, timber and other products. A five year project is proposed, commencing in 1997. The project revolves around four themes: vegetation structure, composition and dynamics; biogeochemistry, trace gas emissions and productivity; resource use and management and water and energy balance. These themes define the minimum set of processes necessary for understanding of the Kalahari system.
Date: 1997
Creator: Scholes, R.J. & Parsons, D.A.B.

Predicting Global Change Impacts on Mountain Hydrology and Ecology: Integrated Catchment Hydrology/Altitudinal Gradient Studies: A workshop report

Description: Documentation resulting from an international workshop in Kathmandu, Nepal, 30 March - 2 April 1996. The following themes were addressed by the working groups: 1. "Role of ecology and hydrology for the sustainable development in mountain regions" (the "human dimensions"). 2. "Coupled ecological and hydrological studies along altitudinal gradients in mountain regions", with a sub-group dealing with the "Assessment of the spatial distribution pattern of basic water balance components." 3. "Impacts of global change on the ecology and hydrology in mountain regions", with a sub-group on the "Identification of global change impacts on hydrology and ecology in high mountain areas."
Date: 1997
Creator: Becker, Alfred & Bugmann, Harald

START Implementation Plan 1997-2002

Description: The primary goals of the SysTem for Analysis, Research and Training in global change science (START), which is co-sponsored by the International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme (IGBP); the International Human Dimensions Programme on Global Environmental Change (IHDP); and the World Climate Research Programme (WCRP) are to promote regional global change science and to enhance the capacity of individuals, institutions and developing regions to undertake such research. START capacity building initiatives include the recognition that human capacity building is much more than training and that, as with all development, sustainable development is best. Once-off training exercises are easy to organize, but are the least effective method of capacity enhancement and result in large cost/benefit ratios. In contrast, sustained development of human capacity through continual involvement with research maximizes efficiency and minimizes the cost/benefit ratio. START seeks to enhance regional global change research while at the same time enhancing the individual and institutional capacity to conduct such research. The details as to how START operates, and how it plans to encompass its vision and meet its objectives are given in the START Implementation Plan.
Date: 1998
Creator: Fuchs, Roland; Hassan, Virji & Fleming, Cory

Oil Pollution Act of 1990

Description: The Oil Pollution Act (OPA) of 1990 streamlined and strengthened EPA's ability to prevent and respond to catastrophic oil spills. A trust fund financed by a tax on oil is available to clean up spills when the responsible party is incapable or unwilling to do so. The OPA requires oil storage facilities and vessels to submit to the Federal government plans detailing how they will respond to large discharges. EPA has published regulations for above ground storage facilities; the Coast Guard has done so for oil tankers. The OPA also requires the development of Area Contingency Plans to prepare and plan for oil spill response on a regional scale.
Date: 1990
Creator: United States. Congress.

The Terrestrial Biosphere and Global Change: Implications for Natural and Managed Ecosystems

Description: From the perspective of terrestrial ecosystems, the most important component of global change over the next three or four decades will likely be land-use/cover change. It is driven largely by the need to feed the expanding human population, expected to increase by almost one billion (109) people per decade for the next three decades at least. Much of this increase will occur in developing countries in the low-latitude regions of the world. To meet the associated food demand, crop yields will need to increase, consistently, by over 2% every year through this period. Despite advances in technology, increasing food production must lead to intensification of agriculture in areas which are already cropped, and conversion of forests and grasslands into cropping systems. Much of the latter will occur in semi-arid regions and on lands which are marginally suitable for cultivation, increasing the risk of soil erosion, accelerated water use, and further land degradation.
Date: 1997
Creator: Walker, Brian & Steffen, WIll

Ocean Biogeochemistry and Global Change

Description: From the perspective of terrestrial ecosystems, the most important component of global change over the next three or four decades will likely be land-use/cover change. It is driven largely by the need to feed the expanding human population, expected to increase by almost one billion (109) people per decade for the next three decades at least. Much of this increase will occur in developing countries in the low-latitude regions of the world. To meet the associated food demand, crop yields will need to increase, consistently, by over 2% every year through this period. Despite advances in technology, increasing food production must lead to intensification of agriculture in areas which are already cropped, and conversion of forests and grasslands into cropping systems. Much of the latter will occur in semi-arid regions and on lands which are marginally suitable for cultivation, increasing the risk of soil erosion, accelerated water use, and further land degradation.
Date: 1997
Creator: Joint Global Ocean Flux Study

Native Peoples-Native Homelands Climate Change Workshop Final Report: Circles of Wisdom

Description: The Native Peoples-Native Homelands Climate Change Workshop was held on October 28 through November 01, 1998, as part of a series of workshops being held around the U.S. to improve the understanding of the potential consequences of climate variability and change for the Nation. This workshop was specifically designed by Native Peoples to examine the impacts of climate change and extreme weather variability on Native Peoples and Native Homelands from an indigenous cultural and spiritual perspective and to develop recommendations as well as identify potential response actions. Native Peoples, with our spiritual traditions and long community histories of change, adaptation, and survival in specific regions, are providing a unique contribution to the assessment and understanding of climate change as well as to the development of sustainable economies in this country.
Date: 1998
Creator: Maynard, Nancy, G.